Sci-Tech Library Newsletter


Newsletter archive > 1999 November 30 Issue

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This newsletter is available to the public at the following locations:

  1. WELCOME TO THE SCITECH LIBRARY NEWSLETTER: If you asked for it, and didn’t get it, ask again …
  3. SPECIAL FEATURE — ADVICE TO A YOUNG ENGINEERING LIBRARIAN: Of interest to more than just engineering librarians
  4. NEW E-JOURNALS: Chemistry, education, technology policy.
  5. INTERESTING WEBSITES, ETC.: Journal impact factors, Science Service, Salary Survey, Scientific Manpower, Science Handbooks, Terrorism; Biological Sciences: Microbes, Genetics, Paleontology, Bones; Geosciences: GIS, Meteorite Crater, Arctic radio programs; Mathematical and Physical Sciences: Astrobiology, String Theory; Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences: Hayek, Bad Hires, Mystic Places, Archeology Images, Ads, and more!
  6. INTER ALIA: The Shakespearean Insult Generator

    I received a huge response of folks wanting to sign up for the e-mail version of this newsletter. Thanks for your interest! Please note the following:

    • If you sent me an e-mail to receive either the entire newsletter or the table of contents, and did not receive this issue, please send me another e-mail. I do this all on my own and, as you will discover, I make mistakes …
    • If you signed up for the table of contents version, you will discover that items are listed in the table of contents that are not in the web or e-mail version of the newsletter. This is because I delete from the public versions any proprietary information or any information that is only of interest to my patrons, such as system downtime notices, internal workshops offered, etc. I don’t delete these from the table of contents. I should, but I just have to conserve time somewhere …
    • The NSF Library maintains an extensive webpage, but it is behind a firewall and not available outside of our building. Sorry, folks, security considerations reign. There may be occasional mentions of the webpage in the newsletter. Oh well.
    • This newsletter is not copyrighted, but many sections of it are derived from copyrighted sources. I try to be very careful about attribution, I ask permission from my sources, I really respect copyright and do not wish to infringe it in any way. For any section that has an attribution statement, please respect the copyright of the original authors!


    My library is short staffed for December, and this effects my ability to produce this newsletter. I will again dust off the annual “Christmas is for Science” edition, and hopefully publish one regular edition toward the end of the month.


    The Library Staff plans to give two sessions of the “How to Search the Internet” workshop in January, and one session of introduction to Library services.

    1. Tues. Jan. 4th from 9:30 to 11 “How to Search the Internet”
    2. Thurs. Jan. 6th from 12:30 to 2 “How to Search the Internet”
    3. Thurs. Jan. 13th from 10:30 to 12 “How the NSF Library Can Help You”

    To sign up for one of these sessions, please send an e-mail to the Library. Space is limited! Additional sessions will be given in coming months.

    Also, library staff is considering presenting a workshop on “How to Find Panelists” if there is sufficient interest. This would include an introduction to subject databases that include name/address information, printed sources of information, and how to search the Web for name/address information. If you would be interested in attending such a workshop (Probably 1 1/2 - 2 hours long), please drop an e-mail to This would be open to both professional and support staff and scheduled for early spring.


    The new draft federal policy on misconduct in scientific research is now available for public comment until December 13. You will find a good discussion on BioMednet entitled “Ain’t Misbehavin’: Addressing Wrongdoing in Research” by Tabitha M. Powledge (free registration to BioMednet required). The article states the main points of the draft policy are:

    • “It will apply to all federally funded research including, for the first time, intramural research.”
    • “The draft says that research misconduct consists of what veterans call FFP: fabrication (making up results), falsification (manipulating, changing, or omitting data in order to misrepresent the results), and plagiarism (appropriating another’s work without credit).”
    • “The policy also sets guidelines for handling misconduct allegations, including safeguards for accuser and accused.”
    • “The policy’s most significant procedural provision settles primary responsibility for preventing and detecting misconduct, and for handling misconduct cases, squarely on grantee institutions.”

    You may find the following links useful:



    For the year 2000, the NSF Library intends to radically change its mix of journal titles and some of its journal policies. Several factors have contributed to this new policy.

    • The cost of scientific journals continues to skyrocket.
    • The availability of journals in electronic format, while not cutting the cost of journals as hoped, has changed the dynamics of journal availability
    • A use survey the NSF Library recently conducted indicated that the mix of journals in our library was not optimum for the agency’s needs.

    In the past, the policy of the library has been to concentrate on the journals that were cross-directorate in nature, and to depend on the individual directorates to provide the specific journals for their own subject areas. However, early this year we asked each of the divisions and directorates to help us select the optimum list of journal titles the NSF Library should purchase to best serve your needs. The responses we received, added to budgetary constraints and the changing nature of journal publishing, have combined to require us to rethink our journal title lists and policies.

    Starting the new millenium, the NSF Library will:

    • Discontinue all journal routing except for Science, Nature, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. Whenever possible, we will arrange for hard copy routing to be replaced by the electronic delivery of tables of contents. If you do not want to receive e-mailed table of contents for journals you now receive in hard copy, please notify us at E-mail tables of contents need not be limited to titles now routed — if you wish additional tables of contents, please notify us.
    • Strive, as technology and finances permit, to obtain site licenses for electronic editions of journal titles that will be available at your desktop. In some cases, these may replace the hard copy editions completely, but the library will still maintain a core collection of the most important journals in hard copy.
    • Continue to provide copies of articles through document delivery and inter-library loan services. Please remember that due to our small staff we ask that you make your own copies of any articles available in our library.

    Two new features we are planning will be:

    • The entire suite of sci-tech journals published by Academic Press (174 titles) will be available in electronic format at your desktop, for issues starting in 1999. Print editions of these journals will not be available in the NSF Library.
    • You will have access to the JSTOR archives from your desktop. JSTOR provides electronic archives of a constantly expanding group of academic journals in full text. This is an archive only — current journal issues are not available through JSTOR. However, journals available through JSTOR include the entire backfile from the beginning of that journal’s publication.

    This is reprinted, with author’s permission, from the STS-L list in response to a query about how to organize engineering information in a new, small library. I enjoyed the humor in it and found the advice so sound I thought it would be of interest to folks beyond librarians and beyond those interested in engineering information. Enjoy!

    Engineering information is divided into separate types and styles of info, which can be handled in different ways and according to different classification systems. Engineering standards, such as DIN, ASTM, or US Military Specifications have their own systems of arrangements and numeration. Unless you have only a few of these, I suggest that you maintain their system of retrieval order. You will certainly be better able to find them when they are cited.

    Loose-leaf updates and legal services can make you tear your hair out. They fall between journals and the publications from Hell. I would go ahead and catalog these into your system, but keep them in Ref since there can be frequent updates (throw away pages A14-A201 (dated 11/01/99), and insert new pages A14- A201k (dated 11/17/99). If you missed a week or more, you will have problems catching up!).

    Serials can be organized by call number or alphabetized depending on how big your library is. If you have less than 100 titles, you may just want to alphabetize them on the serials shelves. No matter how you do it (main entry or common title), be comfortable with people complaining that you didn’t do it right. More than 100 titles, and you may want to catalog them among the monographs.

    Newsletter and newspapers can be handled by either cataloging or not. I suspect that checking in a number of these items daily is not the best use of your time, since the patrons are more likely to only want the current issues, and will let you know when they haven’t arrived on time. Let major libraries keep full runs of newsletters — I would think a full Princeton file or a year’s worth would be almost all that a small engineering library would need. However, be flexible, listen to your patrons, and find out what they want and need in this field.

    If you have a small collection of handbooks, you may just want to arrange them nicely on a shelf. If more than a hundred or so, you may want to catalog them among the monographs and other resources. Dewey and Library of Congress are the more familiar systems. However, federal “COSATI” (Council on Science and Technology Information) also has a system (which I was familiar with back in the days when I also knew Linear B script, and was just as useful, but that’s another story!) Bio-Medical engineering libraries might want to use NLM cataloging (though for that I would prefer LC), but others can be arranged according to different needs and disciplines. SuDoc or UN and other government specialized numbering systems can be used for large specialized collections, or you can catalog them into your main collection.

    Remember that the purpose of cataloging is to allow for the storage, and more important, retrieval of knowledge. There are many different ways to do that, and you have to decide what is most important for your customers. Remember that for many years books were successfully arranged by accession number or height or originating source or Cutter number only. The US Geological Survey Library classification system is arranged by series and not by subject area, since over two-thirds of our collection fall into this category. A library that I visited in Pakistan had recordings from around the world of Moslem prayer calls on cassette, arranged by the dialect of the speaker as determined by the librarian. Eccentric systems can work, but usually only work in one type of library or in only one library.

    Many patrons and librarians become familiar with items placed and replaced exactly on the shelves, and can go to them and similar items on their own like shoppers go directly to a special aisle they know in a supermarket of thousands of items. This isn’t a portable skill that translates from library to library, but all librarians do it anyway.

    Something wacky that works in only one library is certainly appealing. I have always enjoyed being eccentric, but have also found that it is neither cheap or easy to be that way (apologies to Mark Twain).

    In my experience, it has always been more important to be standard than right. I fought that battle in several US Army libraries, and always lost, and later realized that I should have lost. A standardized library system is familiar to many people who travel often between different libraries, and the “portability” of library professionalism means that the patron’s needs and comfort should come first. I didn’t realize that until after I had left, but now I think it is true.

    An eccentric system means that the library is “labor intensive,” in that the patron must utilize a librarian as a “go between” to find information until they learn the system. A known system, such as Dewey or LC that the patron knows from their college days, means the patron can often find materials on their own. An eccentric system also means that the librarian can never die or leave, since the new librarian coming after you would have no way of knowing how the system works without an apprenticeship program.

    Sorry for the rambling thoughts and jumbled ideas (I am often like that before 9:00AM!). Engineering libraries were always a lot of fun, but take a lot of thought and examination of needs and some politics to make them go.

    BTW, one of the more eccentric classification systems was used for a number of years by the National Geographic society Library. There was a round room with a mural map of the world around the top. If you wanted something on Ceylon, you simply located that country on the wall map, and underneath in the stacks would be the books on that country. They went to LC a few years ago, but I always liked that peculiar and interesting system.

    By the way — these are my own opinions — no one else would have them, anyway!

    R. Lee Hadden,
    Reference Librarian
    US Geological Survey Library
    Mail Stop 950, National Center
    Reston, VA 20192
    TEL: (703) 648-6088


    Working Woman
    Working Woman is a business and technology publication. We are concerned with the larger business picture. We are particularly interested in trend pieces that target a specific industry and demonstrate how it is affected by new technology, business practices or market situations. We do not publish straightforward profiles of successful executives or entrepreneurs.

    National Institute of Standards and Technology Journal of Research
    Beginning with the September-October 1999 issue, the electronic version of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Journal of Research will be available in .pdf format. The journal contains current NIST research in the areas of physics, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, and computer sciences. “Papers cover a broad range of subjects, with major emphasis on measurement methodology and the basic technology underlying standardization.” With archives dating back to 1995, the site is capable of full-text searching. [KR] (From the Scout Report)

    Reactive Reports
    From science writer David Bradley and Advanced Chemistry Development, this newly released Web-based chemistry magazine “will provide the chemistry community with cutting edge reports of exciting developments in the world of the chemical sciences and related fields.” The magazine crosses a research orientation with a popular look and feel. Features examine current chemistry developments in areas such as chromatography and nanotechnology, as well as news pertaining to work being done by researchers at Advanced Chemistry Development. [KR] (From the Scout Report)

    International Journal of Educational Technology
    ISSN 1327-7308
    The International Journal of Educational Technology (IJET) is a new international refereed journal in the field of educational technology, sponsored by faculty, staff, and students at The Graduate School of Education at the University of Western Australia and the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. IJET is published online twice each year and is available without an access charge.

    IJET welcomes contributions from scholars, practitioners, policymakers and researchers in the area of computer-based educational technologies. Authors may submit research articles or book and software reviews. The subject matter should be concerned with theory and/or practice within the area of computer-based educational technologies. Please e-mail articles to

    Occasional Papers in Open and Distance Learning
    The Open Learning Institute at Charles Sturt University publishes Occasional Papers in Open and Distance Learning principally as an in-house journal for CSU teaching staff. A wide range of issues in open and distance learning is addressed in the publication and it is designed to disseminate ideas which will enhance learning and teaching within the University. Studies of innovations and reports of best practice in open, distance and flexible learning are invited from CSU staff and students. The publication is available in electronic form.

    Australian Educational Computing
    Australian Educational Computing is the journal of the Australian Council for Computers in Education (ACCE). Subscription is complimentary to members of affiliated computer education groups. Read the Australian Educational Computing Web Edition in Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF), which keeps the layout, font, graphics and photos looking the same as the printed version of the Journal.
    TECHNOCRAT is a new online magazine that focuses on technology policy.

    TECHNOCRAT’s primary mission is to encourage technically-literate people to participate in the determination of technology policy. Most technology policy is decided by bureaucrats rather than technocrats. Politicians and their staff are writing the policy on issues like genetics, the internet, cryptography, and privacy, often without sufficient input from people who actually understand these topics. The media doesn’t help: news gives us the background for determining policy, yet financial pressures force most news agencies to program at a low intellectual level to appeal to the most viewers or readers. Thus, they give sports events priority over space flight, and today’s ratings priority over mankind’s future. TECHNOCRAT’s purpose is to empower the technically-literate person: by giving you the information you need to make decisions about the policies that effect your future, and by showing you how to get your voice heard in the halls of government.


    Andrewes, William J.H., ed.
    The quest for longitude. Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Harvard Univ., 1993.

    Blasius, Jorg, et al., eds.
    Visualization of categorical data. Academic, 1998.

    Casti, John L.
    Five golden rules: great theories of 20th century mathematics — and why they matter. Wiley, 1996.

    Davitz, Joel R. and Lois L. Davitz.
    Evaluating research proposals: a guide for the behavioral sciences. Prentice-Hall, 1996.

    Global environmental change: research pathways for the next decade. National Academy Press, 1999.

    Goodland, Sinclair.
    Speaking technically: a handbook for scientists, engineers, and physicians on how to improve technical presentations. Imperial College Press, 1996.

    Habraken, Joe.
    Microsoft Office 2000, 8 in 1. Que, 1999.

    Kealy, Terence.
    The economic laws of scientific research. St. Martin’s, 1996.

    Ladd, Helen F., et al.
    Equity and adequacy in education finance. National Academy Press, 1999.

    Lomax, Paul.
    VB & VBA in a nutshell. O’Reilly, 1998.

    Microsoft Office 2000 resource kit. Microsoft Press, 1999.

    Nye, Mary J.
    Before big science: the pursuit of modern chemistry and physics, 1800–1940. Harvard Univ. Press, 1996.

    Pinker, Steven.
    How the mind works. Norton, 1997.

    Rosen, Stephen and Celia Paul.
    Career renewal: tools for scientists and technical professionals. Academic, 1998.

    Stern, Paul C., et al, eds.
    Making climate forecasts matter. National Academy Press, 1999.


    Petersen, Juli K.
    Data & telecommunications dictionary. CRC Press, 1999.


    “Genamics JournalSeek is the largest database of freely available journal information available on the internet. The database presently contains more than 8500 titles. Journal information includes the aims and scope, journal abbreviations, impact factors (1998), web links, and ISSNs. Searching this information allows the rapid identification of potential journals to publish your research in, as well as allow you to find new journals of interest to your field.” I am really impressed with this database! (Thanks to Research Buzz for the tip) [Note: I had a little trouble with the search screens being incompatible with my browser. The folks at Genamics tell me they are working on a fix.]

    Beyond Discovery: The Path from Research to Human Benefit [.pdf]
    Produced by the National Academy of Sciences, Beyond Discovery is a periodic series (4–6 times per year) of case studies written by science writers in collaboration with “prominent scientists who have been directly involved with the discoveries being described.” Each case study involves recent technological and medical advances, and highlights the role played by basic science. Articles are composed of multiple short HTML pages with a number of hyperlinks within the text to related sites. Mostly well-written and interesting, the case studies are aimed at the general reader. Current topics include Designer Seeds, Sound from Silence, The Global Positioning System, and Human Gene testing. Summaries and .pdf versions of the articles are also available. [MD](From the Scout Report)

    Smithsonian: Science Service Historical Image Collection, 1926–1976
    This collection of images with their original captions from Science Service — a leading institution for the popularization of science through magazines, bulletins, and newswires for 50 years — gives users insight into the presentation and status of scientific research from the rise of electrical technology through the modern nuclear age. The collection includes hundreds of images that can be searched or browsed, as well as over 130 subject headings for quick access. The site also provides links to a Master’s Thesis and an essay on Science Service, exploring its role in the formulation of popular images of science. Besides being of use to the curious, this site is likely to be valuable to cultural historians and historians of science. [DC] (From the Scout Report)

    Working Woman 20th Annual Salary Survey
    Includes categories in science and engineering, comparing women’s pay with men’s pay in the same fields.

    The Myth of Scientific Manpower Shortage
    In the 1980’s the NSF predicted a severe shortage of sci-tech manpower by the year 2000. PhDs.Org has gathered together links to articles discussing why this prediction has yet to unfold. Alas, accurately predicting the future has always been difficult …

    First meeting of the Universal Preprint Service Initiative UPS Initiative
    There is a movement afoot to make the various preprint archives on the WWW (such as the Los Alamos LANL physics preprints) “interoperable”. This is a brief report of the first meeting of this group. There is also a link to a prototype database which demonstrates a possible model. The ultimate result will be truly “one stop shopping” for preprints!

    Department of Energy (DOE) Technical Standards
    The Department of Energy’s Technical Standards Website contains a great range of handbooks designed to bring a consensus of standards, to develop needed technical standards that are not readily available, and to communicate these standards to those who use them. With this in mind, the Technical Standards Program aims to provide DOE benchmarks. Highlights for researchers and students include the Fundamentals Handbooks for Classical Physics, Electrical Science, Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow, Mathematics, Chemistry, and a great deal more. Items like the Guide to Good Practices for Logkeeping may provide useful practical reference for students and technicians. A great many of the handbooks cover procedures for those working in high-tech labs. A search function allows users to sift through the large amount of information here to access the sections most useful to them. [KR] (From the Scout Report)

    “Terrorists, warring factions, and saboteurs use chemicals commonly found in communities in industrialized nations to create improvised explosives, incendiaries, and chemical agents. Common chemicals may be used because standard military chemical agents may be difficult or dangerous to manufacture, access, or disperse. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) developed a 10-step procedure to analyze, mitigate, and prevent public health hazards resulting from terrorism involving industrial chemicals. The procedure includes identifying key information such as potential threats, local sources of chemicals of potential use to terrorists, exposure pathways, impacts on human health and infrastructure, health risk communication needs, and mitigation and prevention methods. The information identified during these steps is then incorporated into emergency response plans and training exercises. Results of applying the 10-step procedure to two communities are discussed.” Check the larger ATSDR site for more interesting information, including ToxFAQs, the top 20 hazardous substances, health advisories, and more!

    Biological Sciences

    Two Microbiology Sites:

    Microbe World [.pdf]
    Intimate Strangers: Unseen Life on Earth — PBS [Shockwave]
    Produced by the American Society for Microbiology, this site offers a number of resources for both educators and young users. Included in the first category is a collection of learning activities and other resources related to a new PBS series premiering this month, Intimate Strangers: Unseen Life on Earth; fact sheets and related links for the five principal types of microbes; a portrait gallery; suggestions for further reading; and a MicrobeWorld Explorers Journal that will feature reports from educators teaching about microbes. The young users section of the site includes six “microbe mysteries” that explain microbes and their many functions, news-making microbes, several experiments, and information on microbiologists and their jobs. The PBS companion site is essentially a collection of four illustrated essays accompanied by a Shockwave version of mathematician John Conway’s game, _Life_. [MD] (From the Scout Report)

    Currently in beta, this new portal for genetic research will offer a variety of biological data “from multiple public sources,” research tools, online education resources, news, and professional and commercial information. The heart of the site will be the data, which can be accessed by users without an expertise in bioinformatics via several automated agents (Research, Cluster Retrieval, and Human Genome Analysis) that provide in-depth information on selected genetic sequences. After entering a sequence, users run the selected agent and are then notified when the report is available, usually within 24 hours. Currently, users are limited to one genetic sequence at a time and will be notified by email when all of the site is available in December. While obviously of limited use at this time, the site promises to be a major resource for life scientists. [MD] (From the Scout Report)

    Oceans of Kansas Paleontology: Fossils from the Western Interior Sea (Kansas, USA)
    “An educational site that provides information about the animals that lived in and around the ancient ocean that once covered Kansas and much of the Midwest United States (and Canada). It’s a very BIG and constantly changing web site, containing more than 40 subpages, with hundreds of pictures of fossils and paleo-life art, and lots of other interesting information that is found no where else on the Internet. This site is like Ali Baba’s Cave: it’s a labyrinth of subpages easy to get lost in, and it is easy to overlook many of the items that are most interesting unless you start at the Table of Contents. A fine example of the exceptional content of this website is the Cretoxyrhina mantelli — The Ginsu Shark subpage, which features new evidence of Late Cretaceous sharks feeding on mosasaurs. The photographic evidence is particularly exciting because it is so conclusive! (For my readers not familiar with the history of North American television, the word ‘Ginsu’ refers to a widely broadcast advertisement for a set of serrated-edge steak knives bearing the brand name ‘Ginsu’, purportedly manufactured in Japan, whose sharp edges are often likened to that found on the teeth of Carcharinid sharks.) Not listed in the table of contents, THE DAN VARNER PALEO-LIFE ART PAGE should not be missed! The somewhat lurid but very effective style of the artist will set your imagination on fire! You’ll never be able to look at the bones of Cretaceous mosasaurs again without having Varner’s images come to mind!” (From Websurfers Biweekly Earth Science Review)

    Plant Fossil Record
    A database of “descriptions and occurrences of many thousands of extinct plants. Names, places and ages can be searched and the occurrences are instantly plotted on a palaeogeographic map. Patterns of migration and evolution through geological time can be clearly examined to help better understand the history of climatic and environmental change.” Searchable or browsable by genera, descriptions, taxonomy, occurrences, and palaeo maps. — dl (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    Created by Jose Manuel Sanchez and available in seven languages, this large metasite offers thousands of botanical links. The site is helpfully divided into commercial and non-commercial databases, and the non-commercial sites are organized by subject and then sometimes subdivided by topic. For instance, the Gardens and Horticulture section breaks down into five separate topics, offering a total of 403 links. The commercial directory is divided by country or region (36), selected via a pull-down menu bar. Other site features include a discussion forum (only a few messages at present), a list of sources for related software, links to databases on Spanish plants and trees created by Sanchez, and an internal search engine. [MD] (From the Scout Report)

    Mr. Bones
    Subtitled Human Skeleton Assembly Activity, this animated skeleton is an entertaining game that challenges a user to put its bones back together in the correct arrangement. Requires Shockwave. From the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California at Berkeley. — dl (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    Digital Learning Center for Microbial Ecology
    This small but clever and fun site contains the following:

    • The Microbe Zoo — Go on a safari to discover microscopic organisms and the habitats in which they live.
    • Microbe of the Month — The latest exhibit in the Microbe Zoo.
    • The Curious Microbe — Tales of amazing microbes and curious environments.
    • Microbes In The News — Stories from the popular press (newspapers, magazines, etc.) related to microbiology and microbial ecology.
    • Microbial Ecology Resources — Listings of books, videos, software, internet sites, magazines, events, and other resources related to microbiology and microbial ecology.
    • Meet The Scientists — Profiles of microbiologists.


    As maps and mapping tools are increasingly used throughout the scientific community, there is a growing need for a synthesis of available and upcoming geo/graphic materials. This excellent site from highlights a wide variety of resources for researchers interested in the newest GIS maps, tools, and software. The site includes a search engine (focused on geographic-related Websites), geo software (including freeware), recent news related to the GIS community, and a handful of educational materials (see Fun Stuff). The heart of the site is the GIS Data Depot section, however. Here, users may browse the latest GIS coverage (including free downloads of USGS Digital Raster Graphics, among others), scan the list of upcoming GIS resources, and submit questions about projections, formats, scale, or other issues to the help desk. While not all GIS data files listed here are free, the site is a valuable centralized reference tool for newly available mapping materials at the national, state, and county scales. Furthermore, the listing of prices for items that are not free may be of assistance to researchers planning budgets for future GIS-related projects. [LXP] (From the Scout Report)

    The Rad Page (Canadian radiolaria)
    The purpose of this site is to provide some general information on radiolarians and their contribution to the geological study of orogenic belts and, in particular, the Canadian Cordillera of North America. The website includes sections on techniques of study, overview of Cordilleran occurrences, radiolarian research’s contribution to mining exploration, as well as the results of the personal research of the author of this website. Introduction: Radiolarians and Siliceous Rocks is an excellent summary of the importance of radiolarian fossils in formulating theoretical models of real-world tectonics. Methods and Techniques of Radiolarian Biostratigraphy is a brief but comprehensive description of how radiolarians are used to determine the age of siliceous marine sedimentary rocks. Don’t be put off by the “racing radiolarians” icons — this site is a serious and useful introduction to one of the most productive and practical areas of biostratigraphy research. (From Websurfers Biweekly Earth Science Review)

    Barringer Meteorite Crater
    A site about the meteor crater located in Arizona, including information about Dr. Barringer, the scientist who was convinced that the crater was caused by an impact of an object from outer space. Also provided is a “3D Impact simulation game [which] lets you choose the size and target for a meteor headed straight towards earth.” Requires VRML plug-in. There is a quiz to test your knowledge of the subject, as well as a related forum and links. — dl (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    ARCTIC Science Journeys: 1999 Radio Scripts [RealAudio]
    A free radio service broadcasting stories about “science, culture, and the environment of the far north,” Arctic Science Journeys (ASJ) is a production of the Alaska Sea Grant College Program, in collaboration with KUAC-FM Alaska Public Radio and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Several dozen radio scripts from 1999 are provided here, covering diverse topics including Gray whales, salmon migration, the use of Labrador retrievers to locate ringed seal lairs, indoor air pollution, and the _Exxon Valdez_ oil spill, among other topics. Each script summarizes the broadcast and provides links to additional information. Users can also listen to the broadcasts using a RealAudio plug-in. [LXP] (From the Scout Report)

    Mathematical and Physical Sciences

    SETI and more! Astrobiology on the WWW
    Find this article at the Biomednet site (free registration required) for links to fascinating sites on the possibility of life in the universe outside of the earth environment. Sites on related topics are also presented, such as use of remote sensing in archaeology and tissue engineering.

    Two New Space Sites

    SpaceRef [Shockwave]
    The first of these two resources is aimed at professionals and informed users with a strong interest in astronomy and astronautics, and the second can be enjoyed by kids of all ages. While the content in some of the multiple categories in SpaceRef’s Space Directory is currently a little thin, the site is clearly designed from the ground-up to host a wide array of space resources. In addition to the directory, the site also features breaking news, analysis, full-text briefs from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), a calendar of events and launches, and special sections on current missions. Produced by, Spacekids provides both news and entertainment to budding astronomers and astronauts. The site contains space and science news stories written for young users, a space Q&A section hosted by a team of science teachers, interactive Shockwave games, and a photo gallery. [MD] (From the Scout Report)

    Official String Theory
    A well-done explanation of a complex theory in particle physics. Includes the basics of string theory, experiments testing string theory predictions, string theory and cosmology, and a timeline of string theory development. The String Theater presents a RealAudio colloquium by Professor John Schwarz. There are also Real Audio interviews with people involved in the research, a discussion forum, and related links. — dl (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    Nova Online: Decoding Nazi Secrets
    This companion site to the Nova episode “Decoding Nazi Secrets,” broadcast this month on PBS, provides substantial essays on codebreaking and making, encryption on the Web, the mechanics of the Nazi’s encoder Enigma, the personalities and genius of the men who cracked its code, and opportunities for users to code their own messages or participate in a codecracking contest (November 5–19). Additional resources and a teacher’s guide are also provided. We can imagine the site both generating enthusiasm among high school students and helping them to develop valuable analytical skills. [DC] (From the Scout Report)

    Dr. Dobb’s Journal has launched a search engine aimed at programmers. DevSearcher (formerly known as CodeCranker) covers information on programming languages (perl, Java, etc.) algorithms, operating systems, etc. (From Research Buzz)

    Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences

    Social Science Research Network (SSRN)
    Provided by Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP), this site allows users to freely access thousands of abstracts and full-text research papers. The core of the site is the SSRN Electronic Library, which contains an Abstract Database with over 15,600 entries and an Electronic Paper Collection, which currently contains over 4,200 full-text papers. Users can search title, abstract, and author fields, or browse the journals, which are grouped under the five respective Research Networks that form the SSRN: Accounting, Economics, Latin American, Financial, and Legal Scholarship. Within each journal entry, users may select from several display options to narrow their results and available full-text documents are indicated by a special symbol. Information on each of the five networks, including conference and job announcements, as well as information on subscribing and a list of site licenses, is accessible via a menu panel on the left side of the main page. According to SSEP, access to the abstracts and full-text papers will remain free of charge to all users until “the next revision to the web site this winter.” [MD] (From the Scout Report)

    Social and Economic Implications of Information Technologies: A Bibliographic Database Pilot Project
    Sponsored by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Science Resource Studies, this Website is a valuable resource that examines information technology from social and economic perspectives. “Road Maps” is a searchable database containing references to “over 4,000 data sets, research papers and books, and Websites that provide insight about the social and economic implications of IT [information technology]”. Road Maps is set up so that users can perform very specific searches on pre-selected topics including government, science, education, and globalization. This Website also includes an annotated index of related Websites as well as information about site updates. [EM] (From the Scout Report)

    Friedrich Hayek Scholars Page
    This Website was created by Greg Ransom of the Department of Social Sciences at MoraCosta College and is dedicated the Friedrich Hayek, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1972. According to Ransom, Hayek is remembered as “a key figure in the 20th century revival of liberalism.” A bevy of information is available, including a huge number of Web-published academic research papers discussing Hayek. The site also contains extensive bibliographies of Hayek’s writing and commentary on his writing. The Best of the Web section consists of rated articles, papers, conferences, speeches, and course syllabi about Hayek. The Friedrich Hayek Scholars Page also links to video footage of Hayek in 1978, the archives of the Hayek-L discussion list, and a Hayek fact file. [EM] (From the Scout Report)

    Cost of a Bad Hire Calculator
    Cost of Employee Turnover Calculator
    These two intriguing calculators are from Advantage Hiring, an employment agency based in Pittsburgh, PA. The Cost of a Bad Hire Calculator allows users to tabulate the cost of a poor decision in hiring by compiling the financial and temporal expenses of the hiring process including hours spent, candidate travel costs, training/ orientation, and relocation costs. Users enter employee salaries, cost of benefits, and number of employee who left in the Cost of Employee Turnover Calculator in order to see how much each employee cost the company. Advantage Hiring also includes several other calculators including Improve Your Selection Process, Salary, Moving, and Free School Reports calculators. [EM] (From the Scout Report)

    Mystic Places: Easter Island, Nazca Lines, Stonehenge
    This Website from The Discovery Channel of Canada explores “some of the world’s most enigmatic places.” It features separate sections on three famous sites — Easter Island, Nazca Lines, and Stonehenge — discussing the construction, cultural significance, and physical history of the extraordinary structures erected at each. The site also offers a slideshow presenting dozens of dramatic photographs from the three places as well as links to pertinent news releases and features archived on the Discovery site. The discussions and images provided are extensive and can serve as a stand-alone source of information, suitable for individual or secondary education. [DC] (From the Scout Report)

    Perseus Image Browser
    Perseus Project &mdash Tufts University
    The Perseus Project at Tufts University (discussed in the January 1, 1999 _Scout Report_) has recently added a new image browsing tool to its digital library of the ancient world. Users can access more than 30,000 images in several ways. Probably the easiest is via the internal keyword search engine, or Lookup Tool. Most searches will return multiple image categories, such as coins, sculptures, or sites. A sample search for “Zeus,” for example, produced over 550 thumbnails under various headings. Users can access the images by clicking on the adjacent Thumbnail menu bar and full catalog entries by clicking the category headings on the search return page or from the thumbnails. The Image Browser can be loaded within one of the art and archaeology catalogs by clicking the View Thumbnails button at the top of the results page, or from the Browse Images link at the top of any art and archaeology catalog page. [MD] (From the Scout Report) (The Perseus Project is partially funded by the National Science Foundation. At this time it includes Greek, Latin and Renaissance Materials.)

    American Indians and the Natural World
    An exploration of four tribes of Native Americans: the Tlingit of the Northwest Coast, the Hopi of the Southwest, the Iroquois of the Northeast, and the Lakota of the Plains, and how they viewed the natural world. It includes the “belief systems, philosophies, and practical knowledge that guide [these] peoples’ interactions with the natural world.” From the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. — dl (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    Duke University’s Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library is pleased to announce the availability of Ad*Access, an online image database of over 7,000 advertisements printed mainly in U.S. newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955.

    The advertisements included in the site are drawn from the J. Walter Thompson Company Competitive Advertisements Collection and include examples selected from five major categories: Beauty and Hygiene; Radio; Television; Transportation; and World War II.

    Rather than including just a few advertisements on many topics, this approach offers researchers and students enough material to begin to understand advertising for a certain product or time period. Each of the categories has previously attracted considerable research interest, and each also reflects major developments in American society, culture, business, and technology in the first half of the 20th century.

    Every advertisement has a separate record. This record includes a thumbnail image of the ad and two possible viewing sizes (full size and 2x magnification), with descriptive information about the advertisement. Consistent with other Digital Scriptorium resources, Ad*Access has been enhanced with added-value features including brief histories of the various industries and background on World War II advertising campaigns such as those for war bonds and v-mail. Additionally, searching with Boolean operators is available.

    Ad*Access provides a rich introduction to advertising in the middle of the twentieth century and a unique resource for studying advertisements online.


    The following items are from Edupage. To subscribe to Edupage: send mail to: with the message: subscribe edupage Anonymous (if your name is Anonymous; otherwise, substitute your own name). To unsubscribe send a message to: with the message: unsubscribe edupage. (If you have subscription problems, send mail to:

    The federal government has built a $50 million information gathering center in Washington, D.C., to monitor how the world copes with the Y2K changeover. Starting Dec. 31, at 6 a.m. EST, when New Zealand makes the leap into the 21st century, the center will be open 24 hours a day for a week to keep tabs on Y2K-related problems. Particular attention will be given to so-called “middle-tier” nations such as Russia, China, Indonesia, and eastern European nations, because they are reliant on information technologies but may have not performed sufficient Y2K-compliance remedies. The new information center “will be the one place in the world with the most complete information about what’s happening,” says John Koskinen, chairman of the President’s Council on Year 2000 Conversion.
    (USA Today 11/16/99 via Edupage)

    E-learning is now positioned to become the next major target of Internet applications, narrowing the digital divide between rich and poor, said Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers in his keynote at Comdex on Tuesday. “Education and the Internet must go hand in hand,” Chambers said. “It will serve as one of the great equalizers.” Chambers showed a video on schools such as UC Berkeley that incorporate the Internet into the learning environment, for example, by offering Web sites for each individual course. Although the technology to transform education is already available, barriers such as teacher reluctance to embrace the Internet must still be overcome, Chambers said. Over the next two years education will evolve into more of a lifelong process as companies turn to the Internet to train employees, Chambers said.
    (InfoWorld Electric 11/16/99 via Edupage)

    The SC99 conference taking place this week in Portland, Ore., has drawn about 6,000 leading researchers who have met to discuss developments in supercomputing as well as commercial applications of the technology. Data visualization techniques are among the technology scientists are demonstrating. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory is showing off a theoretical visualization of how matter in the universe appeared fractions of a second after the Big Bang. However, data visualization is also moving into the business world as a way of viewing large amounts of data, says Advanced Visualization Systems director Ian Curington. Beyond data visualization, other advanced technologies are also being used for business purposes, with banks and insurance companies spearheading the trend, says University of Illinois professor Robert Grossman. For example, data mining technology, once used only in scientific applications, is now being widely adopted by e-commerce firms, Grossman says.
    (Computerworld Online 11/15/99 via Edupage)

    Over 100 million adults in the U.S., or half the country’s adult population, now use the Internet, according to a Strategis Group report released this week. In mid 1998, the report showed that 65 million U.S. adults were using the Internet. Internet users are becoming more sophisticated in their use of the medium, with 77 percent of users sending e-mail with files or attachments every week, the report says. Users send an average of six e-mails a day, and over 20 percent of users have built or updated a Web page in the past three months. The number of U.S. Internet users is projected to reach 177 million by the end of 2003, according to International Data. Globally, the number of Internet users will reach 502 million by 2003, compared with 142 million in 1998, IDC says.
    (New York Times 11/12/99 via Edupage)

    A joint AOL and Roper Starch study of 500 children between the ages of 9 and 17 found that 63 percent of the youth surveyed would rather surf the Web than watch television, while 55 percent prefer being on the Web to being on the telephone. The study also polled 1,000 adults, 42 percent of whom say they buy merchandise on the Web, up from 31 percent in last year’s survey. Internet rookies are averaging 6.6 hours a week online, while those with three years of Internet experience stay online an average of 10.5 hours per week, the study found. Both children and adults say they use the Internet to compose letters, chat in real time, play games, and download music. Children between 9 and 11 years old go online an average of three days per week, while those between 15 and 17 years old go online an average of five days per week. Two thirds of adults and children surveyed said they would prefer a computer with access to the Internet rather than a television or phone, if stranded on a desert island.
    (C|Net 11/11/99 via Edupage)

    Exposure to computers and other forms of entertainment media at an early age may provide young people with the ability to adapt to technology better than adults, suggests James Gleick, author of “Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything.” Indeed, statistics show that many children and other young people are using the Internet. Of the 18 million people across the world who subscribe to AOL, 18 percent are aged 18 to 24. Upwards of five million children below the age of 12 use the Internet, according to Stephen Bartkiw, managing director of AOL Canada. By 2002, some 20 million children under the age of 12 will be online. A recent study cited by the Canadian Wireless Communications Association finds that 73 percent of people in the 18-to-24 age group believe in the importance of acquiring the latest in communication technology.
    (Toronto Sun Online 11/12/99 via Edupage)

    Over 100 million adults in the U.S., or half the country’s adult population, now use the Internet, according to a Strategis Group report released this week. In mid 1998, the report showed that 65 million U.S. adults were using the Internet. Internet users are becoming more sophisticated in their use of the medium, with 77 percent of users sending e-mail with files or attachments every week, the report says. Users send an average of six e-mails a day, and over 20 percent of users have built or updated a Web page in the past three months. The number of U.S. Internet users is projected to reach 177 million by the end of 2003, according to International Data. Globally, the number of Internet users will reach 502 million by 2003, compared with 142 million in 1998, IDC says.
    (New York Times 11/12/99 via Edupage)


    AssociationCentral — Not extensive enough to replace the Encyclopedia of Associations, but useful.

    Cornell University Library Math Book Collection — Full text of historical mathematics books and texts.

    Ethical Guidelines for Statistical Practice


    The Shakespearean Insult Generator
    “In true Shakespearean spirit comes a website unlike any other I have ever seen. A website which may appeal to the commoner (no frames) or the noble (frames). A website, which, while harming none, pokes fun at those of these and thous and those who bumble in the night. So outrageously stupid that I could not possibly find the diction to express this website I encourage you to venture forth and experience the past like never before!”

    Each time you visit this site, a new insult appears. I am not sure if they are genuine Shakespearean phrases, or cobbled together from words used by Shakespeare, but either way they are wonderful!